This week had seen the fish spawning at Woodland View. So the fishing was always going to be interesting and so it proved.
The Open was held on Front and Back Deans with me drawing the front bank of Deans again. Having drawn this area for the last 3 times and I’ve struggled to put a decent bag together from this area. This time peg 10 was home for the day but I did have more room this time with spare pegs available either side of me.
I set up rigs for the margins, short lines, 2×2 and 2×1. With options of replumbing up further out if needed as there wasn’t much of a change in depth going out into the pool. Normally catching on a short line works well at Woodland View. So at the all in I fed my left margin and my 2×1 line with a large pot of micro’s for later in the match, which I planned to top up each half hour and started on my 2×2 line with hard pellet.
The rig was a 4×14 Preston Carp Pellet on 0.17mm Guru N Gauge main line with a spread bulk above a size 16 (o.13mm) Guru SWLG banded ready rig set up on a 15 Preston Dura slip elastic, though a puller top kit.
I caught a few small F1 stockies during the first hour here, Cad potting in fishery 4mm’s but the fishing was slow and looking around the pool, everybody else was also struggling. I needed to move and I added another section on to 2×3 replumbed up and continued with a 6mm hard pellet on the hook. This was a little better and I caught a couple of carp and some more smaller stockies, but still not good. But at least it was the same for all. A week of spawning fish had played it’s part.
After an hour I decided to go long shipping out to 13 metres and replumbed up fishing on bottom but with strung out shotting a could fish through all the layers of water. I changed the feed pellets to 6mm’s and waited for a response.
This proved to be the right choice as I began to catch some more small carp and stockies and estimated I had about 30lb two hours into the match which looking around seemed to be better than the other anglers on the pool. Most of these anglers were still fishing short or shallow with little return so I was happy to continue to pick some fish off the 13 metre line.
Another hour in I was catching a few, mainly stockies with the odd carp. I melt there were a few carp to be caught and I began to ping over a few 6mm’s with the catty hoping to draw in some larger carp. This worked to some degree and the stamp of fish I was catching improved. I even caught a few carp on the drop and I considered going shallow for them but opted to continue what I was doing as I seemed to be winning the pool. However I’d now noted the angler in the corner opposite on a good peg was also catching now.
3 hours in the 13 metre line was slowing up and it was time for a look short in the margins and the 2×1 line were I’d been feeding micro’s every half hour. I tried here first with a 8mm Sonubaits 8mm expander, dyed blue to match the fishery feed pellets. First put in the float buried straight down and my elastic stretched out with a bigger carp. Rig wise I was geared up for big carp. 0.19mm to 15mm with a 14 Preston GPM hook and a heavier elastic so I was able to give the fish a little more force before he ended up in the keepnet.
At this point I thought, great they’ve turned up. and I hoped for a bagging couple of hours. But no I’m not that lucky!! It was the only fish I caught here after waiting 30 minutes more. I tried the margin next which only produced a ‘flying Skimmer’. My catch rate had now dropped right down. I’d tried to catch short but only had the one carp here.
So it was decision time. Do I stick with it or return to the 13 metre line for the last 45 minutes. The other anglers were catching me up. especially the angler on the opposite bank in the corner and I hadn’t put much in the keep net for the last hour.
So back out to 13 metres I went. I caught a few more small carp here after a 15 minute wait thinking I’d made the wrong decision. I probably added 10lb before the all out came.
At the weight in I had 50lb to beat in my section with one more angler to weigh in after me but he was on a flyer end peg. First weigh with my stockies and small carp went to 20lb and I needed 30lb+ The 2nd net sent the scales around to 47lb giving me 67lb all together. So I hoped for the section win. It turned out the last angler only had 30lb so I had my section at least.
The talk around the pool was that this may be enough to win the match as Back Deans had also been a struggle for all. It was the angler on the opposite corner I had to worry about and he was the last to weigh in on Front Deans.
He weighed in 69lb for the win relegating me to 2nd place overall. I just needed one more Carp! But I was happy to take a brown envelope home anyway. The hour fishing short for little return had cost me the win.